Christie Opens for Trump as V.P. Decision Nears
Donald Trump hit the campaign trail in the swing state of Virginia on Monday with Chris Christie, a leading candidate to join his ticket as vice president.
In his first major appearance alongside the presumptive Republican nominee in weeks, the New Jersey governor showed some of the strengths he could bring to the campaign as both an ardent supporter of Trump and avowed critic of Hillary Clinton, the presumptive Democratic nominee.
"We need a president who once again will put law and order at the top of the priority of the presidency in this country," he said.
The theme echoed Trump's own statements in the wake of the killing of five police officers in Dallas last week, the deadliest day for U.S. law enforcement since the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks. On Friday, he called the ambush “an attack on our country” that requires a restoration of “law and order.”
When Trump took the podium, he thanked Representative Jeff Miller, who is chairman of the House Committee on Veterans' Affairs, for his introduction, but did not mention Christie, who delivered the opening remarks for the event.
"I'd like to thank Chairman Jeff Miller," Trump said. "He is a terrific guy."
In an interview on Monday with the Washington Post, Trump said he would announce his running mate in three to four days.
"I have five people, including the general," Trump said, referring to Lt. Gen. Michael T. Flynn. "In my mind, I have someone that would be really good."
Along with Christie and Flynn, Indiana Governor Mike Pence and former House Speaker Newt Gingrich are said to be on the short list. Another Post report citing anonymous sources said Trump would choose between Christie and Pence.
Christie also sharply criticized Hillary Clinton, the presumptive Democratic nominee, in ways that echoed Trump's comments.
"The Democratic nominee for president put her own political convenience ahead of the safety and security of the American people," Christie said. "And everyone involved in law enforcement should be rightfully concerned if you have a president who puts the rule of law behind their personal interests."
When Trump began speaking, he focused first on Clinton and public safety before moving to the main focus of the speech, which was reforming the government system responsible for veterans' affairs.
"I am the law and order candidate," Trump declared. "Hillary Clinton, on the other hand, is weak, ineffective, pandering."